My Client Talks! Do I Still Need to Consider AAC in my Treatment Planning? Speech Supplementation Strategies: AAC for Clients Who Talk! People with motor speech disorders often persist in using their natural speech to communicate despite low intelligibility and frequent communication breakdowns. Their speech may be functional in some situations, such as with familiar partners in quiet settings, but not across the variety of communication situations they face. Speech supplementation strategies, ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2014
My Client Talks! Do I Still Need to Consider AAC in my Treatment Planning? Speech Supplementation Strategies: AAC for Clients Who Talk!
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth K. Hanson
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota
  • Disclosure: Financial: Elizabeth K. Hanson has no financial interests to disclose.
    Disclosure: Financial: Elizabeth K. Hanson has no financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Elizabeth K. Hanson has no nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Elizabeth K. Hanson has no nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2014
My Client Talks! Do I Still Need to Consider AAC in my Treatment Planning? Speech Supplementation Strategies: AAC for Clients Who Talk!
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 124-131. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.124
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2014, Vol. 23, 124-131. doi:10.1044/aac23.3.124

People with motor speech disorders often persist in using their natural speech to communicate despite low intelligibility and frequent communication breakdowns. Their speech may be functional in some situations, such as with familiar partners in quiet settings, but not across the variety of communication situations they face.

Speech supplementation strategies, such as alphabet supplementation, allow speakers to augment their speech with additional cues. For example, alphabet supplementation, which means the speaker points to the first letter of each word while speaking, has been shown to increase speech intelligibility at the word level with an average gain of 11% and at the sentence level with an average gain of 26% (Hanson, Yorkston, & Beukelman, 2004). This form of AAC can help speakers bridge the gap between ineffective communication with natural speech and total reliance on alternative communication methods (Hanson, Yorkston, & Britton, 2011).

The purpose of this article is to summarize the evidence in the area of speech supplementation, provide direction to integrate the strategies into treatment planning, and to suggest research directions for this rich area of study.

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